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  • Noida jinx will keep Akhilesh Yadav away from meeting PM

     The blind and unreasonable belief started in 1988 with then chief minister late Veer Bahadur Singh who experienced the "curse" first hand. Later, ND Tiwari, Kalyan Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati "have also fallen prey" to this phenomenon.

    It might constitute a serious breach of protocol. But, UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav would still not go to Noida to receive the Prime Minister there on Thursday. The reason: the Noida jinx.

    For the uninitiated, that is the fear of UP chief ministers that a visit to Noida brings misfortune, preventing the incumbent from remaining in his seat of power for long. Akhilesh, projected as a young and modern-thinking politician, has also been stricken by this patently baseless apprehension.
    The blind and unreasonable belief started in 1988 with then chief minister late Veer Bahadur Singh who experienced the "curse" first hand. Later, ND Tiwari, Kalyan Singh, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Mayawati "have also fallen prey" to this phenomenon.

    The PM would be in Noida to inaugurate the Delhi-Meerut Expressway. As a matter of protocol, both the CM and the Governor receive the PM when he visits their state. On Thursday, while UP Governor Ram Naik would be there to receive Modi, the CM will stay away.

    Whether it was the inauguration of the Yamuna Expressway or other projects, laying the foundation of a university or opening Nasscom's Noida office, Akhilesh has preferred to press the remote control button from Lucknow or Delhi, assiduously avoiding the allegedly cursed destination. Even the horrific episode in Dadri (Noida), where a Muslim man Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched on suspicion of eating beef, failed to shake up Akhilesh enough.

    ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’ smashes all records to become the highest ever grossing Diwali movie!

    Directed by Sooraj Barjatya, Prem Ratan Dhan Payo moves towards a smashing success as it crossed the 400 crore mark at the global box office last night. According to trade figures, the film had made 207.4 crores (305 crore gross) in India until Monday, followed by a further 14.2 million dollars (93.7 crores gross) in the overseas market reaching a total of 398.7 crore globally. The family entertainer starring Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor was seen trending nationally on social networking site Twitter, and has become the highest ever grossing Diwali movie.

    The comeback of the hit duo coupled with the fresh pairing of Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor, has been deeply appreciated by the audience as is seen from the increasing trade figures. The films music which has been given by India’s Rockstar Himesh Reshammiya, also added to the success, as whenever Himesh and Salman work together, they are known to give us a super-hit soundtrack. The songs of Prem Ratan Dhan Payo are no different and they continue to ride high in all the charts!

    Prem Ratan Dhan Payo a Rajshri productions film, presented by Fox Star Studios, is an Indian family entertainer, directed by Sooraj Barjatya. The film stars Salman Khan, Sonam Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Anupam Kher in the lead roles and has music by Himesh Reshammiya with lyrics by Irshad Kamil. The film released this Diwali November 12, 2015 and is in cinemas worldwide.

    Europe Warns Against Escalation in South China Sea Dispute

      The European Union made its strongest call yet for China and other Asian nations to resolve their dispute over the South China Sea, a position Brussels insists is neutral but that the United States is likely to welcome after pressing the bloc to speak up.

    At a summit of EU and Asian foreign ministers, Beijing escaped any public admonishment over its construction and militarisation of islands in the South China Sea but the EU's foreign policy chief took a firm line in the bloc's first public comments since Washington patrolled the area this month.

    "We are committed to a maritime order based on the principles of international law," Federica Mogherini told a news conference when asked about the dispute. "We oppose any attempt to assert territorial or maritime claims through the use of intimidation, coercion, force or any unilateral actions which would cause further friction," she said.

    The United States has been urging the European Union to speak more forcefully about what Washington worries is Beijing's predatory approach to a waterway where Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan and the Philippines have rival claims.
    But the European Union, despite its deep ties with the United States, has been reluctant to publicly criticise Beijing at a time when it is seeking up to $10 billion of Chinese investment in its new EU infrastructure fund to help revitalise the bloc's weak economy.

    A week after Washington sent a U.S. naval destroyer to underscore its freedom of navigation and challenge China's claim to almost all the South China Sea, the European Union also faced the task of ensuring that the gathering of 50 Asian and European envoys was not completely overshadowed by the dispute.

    The issue is so sensitive for Beijing that the EU-chaired summit could only produce a final summit statement that made no mention of the South China Sea, despite preparatory talks between Asian officials that diplomats described as very tense.

    Placed on paragraph 22 of the 9-page statement, the 53 delegations agreed on the importance "of resolving maritime disputes through peaceful means."

    PDP leader says sense of insecurity prevailing, urges PM Modi to declare that intolerance will not be tolerated

    n the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Jammu and Kashmir, senior PDP leader Muzzafar Hussain Baig on Friday urged him to send a clear message that "intolerance and communalism" will not be tolerated any more as the situation in the country was "worse than ever before".

    Baig, a Lok Sabha MP, also told the Prime Minister not to lose out on the opportunity to send a clear message to the violators during his visit to J and K tomorrow. "I beseech you both to rise to the occasion and assure the people of the state and minorities of the country in general that communalism, intolerance and bigotry shall not be tolerated - never any more," Baig said in an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister and state Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed "Modi Sahib, if you cannot do it, then who can? Who shall?", he asked.
    Baig said the sense of insecurity that prevails today in the only Muslim majority state of J and K has never been witnessed before. "Today, the general perception of the people of the state is that the only thing this alliance has so far achieved is further alienation, mistrust and cynicism," Baig said. He said the PDP was being accused of being "agents" who had some "hidden and dangerous agenda".

    "The unfortunate environment of intolerance, leading to even ruthless killing of some members of minority community in Uttar Pradesh and some innocent Kashmiris in Jammu, has made Muslims, living in all regions of the state, extremely insecure," he said. The comments came on eve of visit of the Prime Minister to the state where he will be holding a public rally in the Valley and inaugurating the second phase of Baghlihar power project in Jammu.

    Nifty below 8,000, heads for sixth day of losses

    The Nifty broke below the 8,000 level for the first time since Oct. 1, heading towards a sixth consecutive losing session after a private survey showed the manufacturing sector cooled to its slowest in nearly two years in October.

    The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, compiled by Markit, fell to 50.7 in October from September's 51.2. The 50-mark divides expansion from contraction.

    Falls in Asian markets also dented sentiment after soft Chinese factory surveys and U.S. consumer spending data raised concerns over the global economic outlook.

    Meanwhile, Coffee Day Enterprises, the operator of India's biggest coffee chain, fell as much as 17 percent in its market debut on Monday, as investors fretted over a generous price tag they said underestimated concerns around its complex structure.

    India's volatility index surged over 10 percent on Monday, its biggest single-day rise since Sept. 22.

    "Overall the mood is cautious because since the last five days we are seeing losses," Alex Mathews, head of research at Geojit BNP Paribas, said.
    The broader NSE index was trading 0.72 percent lower falling as much as 0.82 percent to 7,999.30 points, its lowest level since Oct 1.

    The benchmark BSE index was down 0.8 percent falling as much as 0.96 percent. The index hit its lowest intraday level since Oct 5.

    Industrial heavyweight Larsen & Toubro extended losses from the previous session and was down 2.3 percent after a slew of brokerages downgraded the stock on weak growth outlook.

    L&T, seen as a bellwether of the domestic economy, on Friday halved the growth it expects in its order book in the current financial year.

    Among other decliners, Bajaj Auto Ltd fell over 5 percent, hitting earlier its lowest level since Oct. 20, after reporting a 9 percent fall in total vehicle sales for October.

    Apple iPhone 6s Plus review: Improving upon the winning formula, although at a significant price jump

    Apple has finally released its much awaited iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in India just in time for the festive season. There have been mixed reactions regarding the pricing strategy Apple has gone ahead with. Considering this is the ‘s’ variant of the iPhone, you will barely see any design changes on the outside, but there are a lot of architectural improvements under the hood.

    Apple has released its phones at a time when the market is flooded with flagship phones from its Android competition. Although that is not such a concern for Apple as we have seen over the years from its sales numbers, the offerings from Samsung, Sony and even the Nexus line are nothing to scoff at. So let us check out the Apple iPhone 6s Plus 128GB variant and see if this is the flagship phone to go for.
    The first thing that strikes you as you hold the iPhone 6s Plus in your hands is that it doesn’t look much different from its predecessor, the iPhone 6 Plus. Considering this is the ‘s’ variant of the iPhone release cycle, external changes are minimal. This time however, Apple has released a Rose Gold variant of the iPhone 6s Plus which we got for testing. For all practical purposes, this is a pink phone with a fancy name.

    Thanks to the taptic engine housed inside the phone for the 3D touch interface on the display, the iPhone 6s Plus is slightly thicker and heavier than the iPhone 6 Plus. It weighs around 192 grams and is 7.3mm thick. This is the only differentiating element as far as design is concerned from the previous generation.

    PM Modi slams Congress, says it has no right to talk about tolerance after 1984 anti-Sikh riots

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday slammed Congress for protesting against 'rising intolerance', saying that it was on this very day in 1984 that the anti-Sikh riots began in Delhi.

    "Do you remember November 2, 1984? What happened in Delhi? Sikhs were being killed... and ironically on November 2, the Congress talks of tolerance. Drown in shame!", he said at a rally in Purnea in Bihar.

    "Congress has no right to talk about tolerance after 1984 anti-Sikh riots; they are enacting a drama", he added.

    "Justice was never delivered to 1984 riot victims," said the PM.

    The PM's remarks come ahead of a meeting between Congress chief Sonia Gandhi with President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday, where she is likely to raise concerns over 'rising intolerance' in the country. Writers, historians, scientists and businessmen have all launched scathing attacks on the Modi government in the past few weeks.

    The PM is scheduled to address three more rallies in what is the campaigning for the last phase of Bihar elections.

    Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu has alleged there was a "systematic, orchestrated and vicious" campaign by opponents to target the BJP-led NDA even as he stressed that while fringe elements should be segregated, not everybody should be painted with the same brush.

    "This is a systematic, orchestrated, vicious campaign across the country by our opponents for whatever reason. Some people are misled and some people are misleading them.

    "This is not good for the country," the urban development minister said at a cultural event here in an apparent reference to the protest by authors, filmmakers and intellectuals over what they have charged is "growing intolerance" in the country.

    Meanwhile, Janata Dal (United) lashed out at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for his defence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and questioned his stand on the growing intolerance in the country.

    REET 2015 | REET Syllabus 2015 | REET Exam Date, Application form

    REET 2015 Exam in Rajasthan, REET Syllabus 2015 for level 1 & Level 2, BSER REET Exam Date 2015, Rajasthan REET Application form 2015, Download REET Sample Paper & RTET Previous Year Papers

    REET Exam 2015 – it was big announcement for Rajasthan graduated youth who are looking job of 3rd grade teacher. Rajasthan government has announced that “” REET exam will be considered for 3rd grade teacher instead RTET”.Aspirants are searching REET syllabus & exam date 2015. Government & BSER is announced exam date. in the syllabus section, they are changed the syllabus and removed Rajasthan GK.  For your information this exam is equivalent to RTET. Anatomy of REET, RTET & BSER is mentioned below.

    This is not official website of REET. You may visit Board of Secondary Education Rajasthan website for official information. Rajasthan Board will conduct REET exam. Our team trying to update all information related to REET in real time.

    Halloween: The Donald and Pizza Rat among top costumes

    When a Donald Trump look-alike rings the doorbell on Halloween night, he or she may solicit a piece of candy but the treat they really seek is recognition. Pop culture experts say ripped from the headlines costumes to celebrate the 31 October holiday - such as Cecil the lion - are a way for adults to connect in a world full of a myriad choices for information and entertainment.

    We do have a lot of overlap between the two, both of, more traditional sell really well, pop culture sells really well. And our top ten costumes its a big mix between the two, said Sarah Chamberlain, Website strategist for Yandy.com.

    While children typically dress up as witches and ghosts, the most popular costume this year among adults shopping on Yandy.com is The Optical Illusion Dress, the subject of an online debate that went viral over its colour. The hot seller is a compromise: half blue and black, half white and gold.

    Also in high demand is Pizza Rat - a grey mini dress with a tail, hood, ears and two pepperoni pizza slice pockets - that is arguably sexier than the video of a New York City rat dragging a pizza slice down subway steps, shared more than 100,000 times on Twitter. The site is turning the killing of Zimbabwes Cecil the Lion by an American dentist into a good cause.

    We were actually already making a lion costume this year and we decided, you know, when everything happened with Cecil, we wanted to do something good with it. So were offering 20% of the proceeds, which is basically all of our profits, are going to a wildlife charity. And it has this great furry hood, fun little romper and of course the little lion tail. A little sexiness with the romper bottom, said Chamberlain.

    Some costumes are meant to touch a nerve, but some vendors say there are lines they will not cross. New York-based store Abracadabra and Yandy.com both decided against carrying a Caitlyn Jenner costume, featuring a shiny white padded bustier resembling the outfit the Olympic gold medallist and reality TV star wore to come out as transgender. Politicians are typically fair game and Yandy is having fun with its Donald Trump-like costume.

    Alcatel launches OneTouch Flash 2 with 13MP rear camera

    Alcatel has launched the successor to OneTouch Flash, Onetouch Flash 2 in India. The smartphone will be available starting October 20 exclusively on Flipkart but there's no word on the pricing.
    The phone sports a 5-inch (720X1280p) IPS HD display. It is powered by a 1.3GHz octa-core processor and 2GB RAM. It comes with 16GB internal storage and supports microSD card slots of up to 128GB for expansion. The phone has a 3,000mAh battery and runs Android 5.1 Lollipop.

    OneTouch Flash 2 sports a 13MP rear camera with auto-focus and a 5MP front-facing camera.

    In terms of connectivity, the dual-sim phone offers 4G, 3G, 2G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and GPS.

    Vijay, Shruti Haasan and Hansika Motwani attend the music launch of Puli- view pics!

    After SS Rajamouli’s Baahubali, people are gearing up to see Chimbu Deven’s Puli. The Tamil film stars Vijay along with Hansika Motwani, Shruti Haasan and Sridevi.

    The venture is said to be an adventure fantasy and will see its release in September this year. The lead actors of the film Vijay, Shruti and Hansika were recently seen attending the audio launch where Hansika looked radiant in a brown saree which she teamed up with a printed blouse. The beauty accessioned  her traditional attire with a pair of big matching earrings and heavy eyeliner.

    The actress here is seen standing next to Vijay who chose to show up in a casual shirt and pants.

    Shruti Haasan on the other hand showed up in a gorgeous sequinned Anarkali which she teamed up with a beautiful maang bindi. Check out her picture:
    BollywoodLife informed its viewers that the makers of Puli might take the route followed by Baahubali and release the film in a Hindi dubbed version. Considering the tremendous business Baahubali has done in north India, the Puli team is aiming to take a similar route and reach out to a wider audience. The Hindi dubbed version of Bahubali was distributed by Karan Johar under his Dharma Productions banner and inched close to the 100 crore mark in no time!

    Is is being said that there are likely to be more CGI and VFX effects in Puli as compared to Baabahuli. What’s pending to be seen is how the audience will react to Puli after Baahubali’s massive success.

    Will Puli be able to create the same magic? Let us wait and watch! Till then check out all the pics in the gallery above and tell us whose look you like the best!

    Jewellery stocks shine on sharp drop in price of yellow metal


    Stock market investors on Monday gave a thumbs up to gem and jewellery stocks, thanks to the continuous fall in the yellow metal prices overseas. The precious metal sank to over five-year lows in global markets. Gold futures crashed as much as 4.6 per cent in the Asian markets, as China on Friday revised its official gold reserves upwards, marginally.

    On the domestic market, gold prices fell below ₹25,000 per 10 grams on Monday, tumbling ₹524 in futures trade in early trades.

    Shares of Shree Ganesh Jewellery House, Gitanjali Gems, Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri, PC Jeweller, C Mahendra Exports, Rajesh Exports, and Vaibhav Global gained between 1 and 14 per cent. However, Titan Company fell 1.23 per cent to ₹344.9 on the BSE.

    Gold ETFs feel the heat

    Gold ETFs — exchange-traded funds on gold that follow the price of gold — fell between 0.5 per cent and 4.5 per cent. Kotak Gold ETF was the biggest loser crashing 4.7 per cent. On the other hand, Canara Robeco Gold ETF fell just 0.5 per cent on the NSE.

    According to analysts, the fall in gold prices bodes well for jewellery stocks, as the inventory costs for these companies would fall, giving them better leverage in the coming festival season. Besides, the results season began on a good note for the sector. Thangamayil Jewellery reported a net profit of ₹3.63 crore for the quarter ended June on revenues of ₹300.16 crore. This compares with a loss of ₹3.69 crore for the March quarter and a loss of ₹3.98 crore for the June quarter of last fiscal.

    Knee-jerk reaction

    Amid these developments, some analysts have sounded a word of caution, too. According to Ramesh Chordia, independent analyst, Monday’s rise in jewellery shares is just a knee-jerk reaction, as the metal price fell below the psychological ₹25,000-mark.

    It is better to wait for individual companies’ results before venturing into these shares, as some of the firms are sitting on huge debts, he added. “Also, the price of gold will fall further and it will be prudent for investors to buy these stocks once prices stabilise,” he said.

    According to an analyst with a Mumbai-based commodity broking house who requested anonymity, the yellow metal price may not recover any time soon, as economic recovery in the US is now on strong footing.

    Taapsee Pannu to endorse Honda's two-wheelers

    Actress Taapsee Pannu, who has worked in the Hindi and the southern film industry, has been roped in as the first female brand ambassador for Japanese motorcycle and scooter manufacturing brand Honda.
    "It is a brand that I was associated with even before I thought of becoming an actor. The first ever vehicle I ever drove was a Honda. Presently I own an Activa and Honda car as well. It's a landmark in not only my career, but my lifetime to be an ambassador of a brand of such supreme calibre," Taapsee told IANS.

    On Wednesday, Honda launched two new editions of Aviator and Activa automatic scooters here.

    Sexy Maria Sharapova for Harper´s Bazaar

     Maria Sharapova isn't afraid to star onto magazine photo shoots looking fierce and beautiful. The Russian has developed great confidence in front of the camera over the years, so much that in the past she also posed multiple times just wearing swim suits.
    Recently the Russian starred in a new photo shoot, for magazine Harper's Bazaar. Looking sexy and stunning wearing gold, Maria is already getting into the fashionable London mood. Maria will also be opening her Sugarpova Exclusive Candy Lounge in London, right during the Championships of Wimbledon.

    It seems a busy period for the Russian, who at Wimbledon will try to do better than last year's fourth round.  Sharapova hasn't reached the second week in London since 2011, which marks her last appearance into a Wimbledon final, losing to Petra Kvitova.

    Congress demands Smriti Irani’s resignation

     Congress on Wednesday demanded that Smriti Irani resign as HRD minister after a trial court took cognizance of a complaint about her educational qualifications, the party taking pleasure in the fact that PM Narendra Modi's weapon to take on Rahul Gandhi was on the back foot.

    AICC spokesman Ajay Maken said Irani could not be the minister in-charge of education when an inquiry seeking details from Delhi University about her degrees was on. "Is it not a conflict of interest? She should resign or the PM should remove her," he said.

    Maken reminded that Congress had raised the issue immediately after the PM constituted his Cabinet as Irani's election affidavits had serious discrepancies with different claims about her degrees.

    NSUI, the Congress's students' outfit, held a demonstration in front of Shastri Bhavan which houses the HRD ministry to seek Irani's resignation. Shouting slogans, NSUI members burnt her effigy. NSUI chief Roji John said, "It is an insult to the academic and student community that a person who is not clear about her own educational qualifications is the country's HRD minister. She must resign."
    Congress is set to pile more pressure with the party's Delhi unit deciding to hold a protest at Jantar Mantar seeking Irani's resignation on Thursday.

    For the party aggressively pursuing 'Modigate', the court observation on Irani has brought special relish that goes beyond the satisfaction of punching holes in BJP's claim of "scam-free" governance.

    BJP had lately deployed Irani to take on Rahul after the latter's post-sabbatical aggression against Modi government, especially the PM, in Parliament.

    Irani's forays into Rahul's constituency Amethi reflected a strategy to tie down Rahul to his seat and cut down on his national campaign. The HRD minister contested unsuccessfully against Rahul in the 2014 polls. After Rahul accused the Centre of "politics of revenge" for cancelling the food park in Amethi, Irani held a rally in the UP town attacking the Congress leader. She then challenged that "the Gandhis would be seeing more of me in Amethi".

    This Is What Beyonce Looks Like 22 Days into a Vegan Diet

    Major announcement from Beyonce! That’s what she teased a few days ago. Turns out it was another opportunity to free her fans from some hard-earned money. Also, a reason to post some online pics of her in a swimsuit.

    That special announcement? She started a vegan delivery service with personal trainer Marco Borges and a new diet plan, “22 Days Nutrition”. This Borges quack started a ‘revolutionary’ 22-day diet that’s “based around a whole-food plant-based diet, and bans meat, eggs, dairy, alcohol and processed foods for 22 days – the length of time it is thought to take to build new food habits.” Bsically, they say 21 days to break bad habits and the 22nd day to start a new, hoepfully healthier, habit.
    Wannnnk. Here’s a tip, eat in moderation and don’t stuff your face with bad shit. If it comes in a package, it’s not good for you. And alcohol has a ton of calories. Do people really need Beyonce to teach them this? Sadly, yes.

    These people will line up to shove their money into Beyonce’s face as if she was a deity. Are they gonna rub her belly for good luck also? If there’s any justice in this world, this new delivery service will fail, just like Jay-Z’s arrogant streaming service, Tidal.

    Six dead in ammonia gas tanker leak near Ludhiana

    At least six persons were killed and around 100 others complained of breathing problems when an ammonia gas tanker leaked early on Saturday near Ludhiana, police said.

    The leak occurred when the tanker got stuck under a flyover on the Doraha bypass along a canal, about 25 kms from Ludhiana, according to the police.

    Six persons died after inhaling the leaked gas. Doraha Police Station's SHO Rajnish Kumar Sood said the bodies have been shifted to a hospital in Ludhiana. Around 100 others complained of breathing problems, he added.
    The affected people have been admitted to different hospitals in Doraha, Khanna and Ludhiana, the SHO said.

    Residents in the area were forced to vacate their homes when the gas from the tanker spread in and around Doraha, police said.

    The tanker had Gujarat registration number, according to the police. Police officers have rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation.

    More details are awaited. Identities of the victims are yet to be ascertained, the police said. 

    Pakistanis are living longer but not healthier lives

     People in Pakistan are living longer, but not happily.

    It is not a political statement but the finding of a worldwide study that the longer living Pakistanis are spending more time in ill health.

    International researchers working for the Global Burden of Disease project reported that in 2013 migraines, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes were among the 10 leading causes of ‘years lived with disability’ (YLDs) in Pakistan.

    Other leading causes included hearing loss, anxiety disorders and neck pain.

    Titled “1990-2013: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013” the study was led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, and is based on data of 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries.
    Death rates are falling faster than those of nonfatal diseases and injuries

    People are living longer in Pakistan despite spending more time in ill health because rates of non-fatal diseases and injuries decline more slowly than death rates, the study explained.

    For both sexes combined, the leading causes of YLDs remained largely the same during the period 1990-2013. But they take an increased toll on health due to population growth and aging, it said.
    It also shows that musculoskeletal disorders – which include shoulder injuries and fractures from osteoporosis – have replaced diarrheal diseases as a leading cause of YLDs for Pakistani women. In the 23 years the study covers, iron-deficiency anemia at 11 per cent was the smallest percentage increase among the top causes of YLDs while musculoskeletal disorders as the cause increased by 163 per cent, and diabetes by 170 per cent.

    Diabetes YLDs for men in Pakistan increased by 100 per cent and depression by 94 per cent during those years, while that from iron-deficiency anemia declined by 9 per cent.

    “The health of Pakistanis is increasingly threatened by non-communicable diseases such as depression, chronic back pain, and migraines,” said Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, co-author of the study and founding director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University in Karachi.

    “At the same time, diseases like iron-deficiency anemia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes are also costing people in Pakistan many years of healthy life. It is critical that we understand which diseases and injuries are causing disability so that we can effectively allocate resources for national planning,” Professor Bhutta added.

    Apple creates 'Move to iOS' app to pull Android users away from Google

    The iPhone 6 has been more successful than previous versions of the smartphone at drawing Android users away from Google’s mobile platform, and Apple wants to capitalize on that with a new app that makes it easier for them to make the switch.

    Later this year, a new “Move to iOS” app will wirelessly transfer a user’s “contacts, message history, camera photos and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, calendars, wallpaper, and DRM-free songs and books” from an Android phone to their new iPhone.

    The switching process will also suggest that they install free apps from their Android device that are also available on Apple’s App Store, so switchers can quickly get back on their feet with their favorite apps like Facebook and Twitter. Paid apps that they have on Android with iOS versions available will be added to a user’s wish list in the iOS App Store.
    According to Apple, the whole process will be handled “securely” so that a user’s personal information doesn’t get exposed. It’s not clear exactly how the process works yet, and how aggressive Apple will be when it comes to migrating users away from Google’s services. For example, it’s possible that the process will move all of the contacts a user has stored with Google over to iCloud—Apple hasn’t said one way or another.

    Once the process is done, the Android app will helpfully prompt users to recycle their Android phone, just to keep them from going back to Google’s mobile platform unless they buy a new phone.

    The app wasn’t announced on stage Monday morning during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, but it appeared on the promotional page the company created to show off its new mobile operating system ahead of its launch later this year.

    Tanu Weds Manu Returns Movie Review

    Movie sequels are all too often horribly musty affairs. Tanu Weds Manu Returns isn't one.

    Notwithstanding the stray false notes that the film strikes, especially in the run-up to the climax, it is a bright and breezy romp that draws sustenance from its droll dialogues, outstanding cast of actors and all-round jollity.

    The film hits the ground running, cruises along like a song until its final moments, where it comes close to losing its way just a tad.

    But one leaves the auditorium with a smile on the face, having witnessed the misadventures of an array of flawed but loveably high-spirited characters who thrive on confusion.

    Yes, it's frothy, but this is fluff that is rooted in recognisable and relatable settings.

    In Himanshu Sharma's busy screenplay, little nuances of culture and language - which obviously vary wildly from the bylanes of Kanpur to the precincts of Delhi University to the rustic ambience of Haryana - are underscored with love, care and precision.

    Tanu Weds Manu Returns revolves around an unintentionally dangerous London- meets-Jhajjar liaison.

    So ominous threats are made by some quarters, but nobody whips out a gun or goes for the kill or hurls ugly invectives.
    This is infinitely more velvety than the much-hyped mess that we were subjected to last week.

    Tanu Weds Manu Returns, which takes off exactly from where its 2011 predecessor left, exudes an air of welcome freshness. For the most part, the film eschews excess.

    The stage for the comic rigmarole is set by a preliminary sequence staged in an ante-room of a British mental asylum where Tanu and Manu, now wedded for four desultory years, have a go at each other like a pair of Kilkenny cats.

    Their marriage is on the rocks and the love that brought them together against all odds has evaporated.

    Launching a broadside at Manu, Tanu accuses him of being devoid of any spark. I am not a lighter, he retorts.

    Manu, on his part, complains to the psychiatric counsellor that Tanu suffers from bipolar disorder and has hormonal issues. She is too moody and demanding, he asserts.

    The unseemly fracas ends in an insane-with-rage Manu being dragged away by the asylum attendants and placed under observation.

    Tanu calls Pappi (Deepak Dobriyal) to head to London and rescue his friend while she flies back to Kanpur.

    Kangana Ranaut, in a magnificently effective double role, powers the comic drama forward with an effortless act that requires her to embody two diametrically divergent faces of Eve in small-town India.

    Tanu Weds Manu Returns vindicates the general belief that Kangana is currently in a zone where she can do no wrong.

    On one hand she is the bubbly and recklessly rebellious Kanpur girl Tanuja Trivedi alias Tanu who walks out on her "boring" London doctor-hubby Manu Sharma (R Madhavan) on a whim and returns to her hometown.

    On the other she embodies the no-nonsense persona of Kusum Sangwan alias Datto, the feisty sports quota Delhi University student from Jhajjar who is a carbon copy of Tanu but for her buck teeth, pixie bob and unalloyed Haryanvi diction.

    Rahul's visit buoys state Cong ranks

    The first visit of All India Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to Telangana has come as a major confidence booster for the state Congress. The huge response has buoyed the party leaders and cadre, especially it was the first major event organized by the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee after the state bifurcation.

    The Congress has not conducted any major event after its debacle in the general election except some rallies against shifting of TB and Chest hospital in the city and power crisis.

    There had been a feeling among the Congress leaders that there was a lull in party activity for the past 11 months and that the cadre needed a fresh dose of enthusiasm. Rahul Gandhi's visit to Adilabad appeared to have done the trick.
    The party members had started making arrangements for Rahul's visit two weeks ago, erecting banners and flexies all along the national highway up to Nirmal and peppering the town with party tri-colour flags and cut-outs of Rahul. Same was the scene along the padayatra route.

    Congress workers and locals waited till well past Thursday midnight in front of the hotel in Nirmal town, where Rahul Gandhi was staying, to try and catch a glimpse of the leader. The police faced a tough time in clearing the gathering in view of the security requirements.

    "The party should conduct such big programmes to take up people's problems and issues at least once in three months. The workers were inactive in the past 11 months and these programmes would definitely boost their morale and confidence," Ramesh Nagul, a farmer from Nirmal said.

    Shruti Haasan bags role in 'Singam 3'

    Actress Shruti Haasan has reportedly been roped in for the third installment of the 'Singam' franchise. The film, which will be helmed by Hari Gopalakrishnan, also features Suriya and Anushka Shetty in the lead roles.

    "Shruti is most likely to play the second lead. While she agreed to be part of the project, the paperwork is still pending. She's expected to sign on the dotted line soon," a source from the film's unit told IANS.

    Director Hari had planned to include Shruti in 'Singam 3' after he was impressed with her work in their last Tamil outing
    Shruti Haasan bags role in 'Singam 3'

    "The film is expected to go on the floors in September. Anirudh Ravichander will be composing tunes, while comedian Soori has been cast in an important role," the source said.

    Suriya, who is currently busy with Tamil thriller '24', will join the sets from September onwards

    Signs of Unrest as Baltimore Enforces Curfew

    Armored vehicles lined this battered city’s main thoroughfares and thousands of law enforcement officers and National Guard troops worked to maintain order and enforce a citywide curfew Tuesday night, amid scattered reports of unrest after a day of largely peaceful protests.

    As the curfew went into effect at 10 p.m., hundreds of people remained in the streets near the intersection of Pennsylvania and West North Avenues in blighted West Baltimore, where a CVS drugstore had been looted and burned during Monday night’s riots. There were some reports of arrests, and police fired pepper-spray balls to disperse crowds, who had earlier stood their ground despite entreaties from religious leaders and community activists.

    Shortly before midnight, Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts declared the curfew a success.

    Earlier Tuesday night, nearly 1,000 people gathered at the Empowerment Temple A.M.E. Church, where about 500 religious leaders of different faiths called for healing. Members of the audience spoke about a litany of problems plaguing the city and called for better policing, policies to create jobs, and better schools.
    But out in the streets, there were intermittent clashes with police, as some threw bottles at a line of officers behind riot shields.

    The tense mood Tuesday night was a stark contrast to the almost upbeat feeling earlier in the day, as hundreds of people of all ages and races — many of them toting brooms and trash bags — worked to clear the neighborhood of rocks and debris.

    In the late afternoon, peaceful demonstrators marched through the streets, chanting, “All night, all day, we’re gonna fight for Freddie Gray!” — a reference to the 25-year-old black man whose death, from a spinal cord injury sustained in police custody, set off rioting on Monday night.

    “It’s sad, this don’t make no sense,” said Clarence Cobb, 48, one of many neighborhood residents who, describing themselves as brokenhearted, came out to survey the wreckage and clean up. “It comes to a point where you just got to take pride in your own neighborhood. This makes us look real bad as a city.”

    Indonesia Executes 8, Including 7 Foreigners, Convicted on Drug Charges

    Defying international condemnation and rejecting 11th-hour pleas for clemency, the Indonesian government executed eight drug convicts after midnight on Wednesday, including seven foreigners.

    But the execution of a ninth convict, scheduled to happen at the same time, was unexpectedly postponed at nearly the last minute, according to the Indonesian attorney general’s office.

    The executed prisoners, from Australia, Brazil and Nigeria, along with one Indonesian, were shot by police firing squads about 12:25 a.m. local time at a site outside the gates of Pasir Putih prison on the island of Nusa Kambangan off the southern coast of Java, according to the attorney general’s office.

    The authorities granted the stay of execution to Mary Jane Veloso, 30, a Philippine citizen, after the Philippine government requested her assistance in a human trafficking case involving a woman who surrendered to the Philippine police on Tuesday.
    Continue reading the main story
        The family of Mary Jane Veloso, who is among a group of prisoners facing execution, on its way to visit her on Saturday.
        Despite Protests, Indonesia Moves Forward to Execute Drug ConvictsAPRIL 25, 2015
        Andrew Chan and, behind, Myuran Sukumaran, in 2006, were said to have been flown to an island where people are executed.
        Countries Questioning Indonesia’s Push to Execute Drug OffendersMARCH 3, 2015
        World Briefing: Indonesia: 6 Executed for Drug OffensesJAN. 18, 2015

    “An alleged perpetrator of human trafficking gave herself up, and Mary Jane’s testimony is needed,” Tony Spontana, a spokesman for the Indonesian attorney general, wrote in a text message shortly after the executions were carried out. “Eight people were executed, but not Mary Jane,” he wrote.

    Salman Khan to be booked for assault and robbery

    While his ongoing legal woes have not come to an end yet, Bollywood star Salman Khan seems to have landed in trouble again.

    Now, Ravindra Dwivedi, a member of Brashtachaar Nirmoolan Samiti has lodged a complaint against Salman for assaulting him and snatching away his important documents, reports The Indian Express.

    According to the complainant, the incident took place in November last year, when he was aboard a Mumbai-Delhi flight. Salman got into a fight with him, abused him and ordered his bodyguards to take away all the important documents which he possessed.
    Following the complaint, Magistrate AD Lokhande has directed the airport police to investigate the matter and lodge an FIR against Salman if he is guilty.

    If the allegations are proved to be true, Salman will be booked under IPC section 323 for causing hurt, IPC section 504 for insult with intention to provoke breach of peace, IPC section 506 for criminal intimidation and IPC section 392 for robbery.

    Viagra not universal 'cure-all' for impotency

    If you are suffering from impotence or erectile dysfunction, reaching out for Viagra and other related drugs may help you increase the levels of your sexual activity, but not satisfaction, suggests a new research.

    Moreover, people suffering from erectile dysfunction have higher odds of suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes.

    Viagra and other related drugs, clinically known as oral phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors (PDE5i), cannot address these associated concerns, the researchers pointed out, suggesting that restoring erectile dysfunction (ED) pharmacologically is not a 'cure-all'.
    "It is important that health professionals act on this and offer a more rounded approach to managing ED," said lead author of the study David Lee from the University of Manchester in Britain.

    This should include a well-informed patient with realistic expectations, support from his partner, and an improved assessment of any psychological or relationship issues that may exacerbate sexual concerns and dissatisfaction, Lee pointed out.

    The researchers studied the responses of more than 2,600 English men aged 50-87 years.
    Older men who had recently used PDE5i drugs reported higher levels of sexual activity and function than men without ED, but were more likely to be concerned and/or dissatisfied with their sex lives.

    Prashant Bhushan rejects Atishi Marlena's claim that Shanti opposed truce

    AAP dissident leader Prashant Bhushan on Tuesday rubbished criticism by former AAP spokesperson Atishi Marlena that he backed out of the reconciliatory talks with Arvind Kejriwal camp on his father Shanti Bhushan's insistence, saying the negotiations collapsed due to "trust deficit".

    In a letter to a section of AAP leaders, Marlena, a Rhodes scholar who was close to the rebel camp, suggested that both sides were nearing truce but the talks broke down at the final phase as the senior Bhushan said "no" to any reconciliation with Kejriwal.

    "It is not correct to say that negotiations broke down because of my father Shanti Bhushan. The talks failed as there was trust deficit," Bhushan said when asked about Marlena's letter.
    Prashant Bhushan rejects Atishi Marlena's claim that Shanti opposed truce

    Bhushan said Atishi was not aware about the details of the deliberations with the Kejriwal emissaries as she was not present during the negotiations.
    #aap #prashant bhushan #arvind kejriwal #shanti bhushan aap rift
    Marlena, who was removed as AAP Spokesperson along with several others including Yogendra Yadav, said that Bhushan backed out because of his father's red flag and not on the grounds of any principle.

    The reconciliatory talks between the rebels and Kejriwal camp had broken down on March 26, two days before the national council meeting which had expelled Bhushan and Yadav from the party's National Executive.

    Both Bhushan and Yadav have been maintaining that Kejriwal was determined to remove them from the National Executive and the talks were being continued to project a positive of image of himself to the volunteers.

    Bhushan said Atishi was not aware about the details of the deliberations with the Kejriwal emissaries as she was not present during the negotiations.

    The noted lawyer said he and Yadav have already sent their responses to Marlena on the issue.

    In the letter, Marlena complimented AAP leader Sanjay Singh for trying to build a consensus between the two warring factions.

    Bhushan and Yadav have convened a meeting of the volunteers and their supporters on April 14 to chalk out their future course of action.

    IPL 8: Virat Kohli smiles as girlfriend Anushka Sharma performs

    Star batsman and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli was seen savouring the moves as his girlfriend, Bollywood beauty Anushka Sharma, set the floor afire with her performance at the glitzy opening ceremony of the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

    TV cameras kept zooming at Kohli as Anushka gyrated to the tunes of her popular movie songs at the Salt Lake Stadium. Seemingly embarrassed at first, the cricket icon was later seen smiling and watching the actress.

    The hot and happening couple was on Monday spotted at the Kolkata airport together during their arrival for the IPL opener.

    Reflecting the grandeur and exuberance of Indian festivities, the glitzy and technologically stunning opening of the eighth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL-8) began here on Tuesday at the Salt Lake stadium amid a replay of magical moments of the previous editions of the league. Fireworks explode at the Salt Lake Stadium during the Pepsi IPL 2015 opening night in Kolkata on Tuesday.PTI
    The stadium erupted in celebrations even though thundershowers led to an hour-and-a-half delay. The rain clearly failed to dampen the spirits of the nearly 15,000 patiently waiting cricket fans.

    As the audience waited for the star performers -- Hrithik Roshan, Anushka Sharma and Shahid Kapoor -- to fire up the show, captains of the seven of the eight teams took the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Spirit of Cricket pledge by signing a bat.

    Bollywood Actor Hritik Roshan performs during the Pepsi IPL 2015 opening night event at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday. PTI PhotoSunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner was not present, and his teammate Shikhar Dhawan stepped in to sign the bat on behalf of the Australian.

    Farhan Akhtar rooting for Mumbai Indians

    Lauding the Indian Premier League (IPL) for its high entertainment quotient, actor-director Farhan Akhtar on Tuesday said he will be rooting for Mumbai Indians and was excited to see cricketer Yuvraj Singh play.

    Merger of Janata Parivar will happen before end of this month: Nitish Kumar

     Describing RJD chief Lalu Prasad's announcement in favour of the merger of Janata Parivar splinter parties as "a solid and effective" step towards the process, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said a formal announcement will be made "much before the end of this month." "All the constituent parties have made up their mind for the merger and the announcement will be made at a formal meeting to be convened by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav soon," Kumar told reporters while coming out of the Assembly.

    Describing RJD chief Lalu Prasad's announcement in favour of the merger of Janata Parivar splinter parties as "a solid and effective" step towards the process, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday said a formal announcement will be made "much before the end of this month." "All the constituent parties have made up their mind for the merger and the announcement will be made at a formal meeting to be convened by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav soon," Kumar told reporters while coming out of the Assembly.
    Asked if the announcement would be made within this (April) month, Kumar said, "Very soon a formal meeting will be called where the announcement will be made." Kumar, a prime mover of the merger process of the splinter parties into Janata Parivar, said he met Mulayam Singh Yadav who was authorised to oversee the unification process, and also JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav in this regard in Delhi before coming here in the today.

    Asked when the formal meeting was expected, Kumar said the SP chief was authorised to call the meeting and so he would not speak about the date.

    "But, keeping in view the availability of leaders, the meeting will be called soon," he said. Asked about the decision of JD(U) on the merger, Kumar said the party has expressed willingness in its favour much earlier.

    BAI Announces Cash Rewards for Saina, Kashyap

    The Badminton Association of India (BAI) on Tuesday announced a cash award of five lakh rupees each to World number two Saina Nehwal and Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap for their impressive performances at the international stage.

    Both Saina and Kashyap had won the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow in January and Saina also became the first Indian woman to reach the All England Open Super Series Premier finals earlier this month.
    “It has been my policy to reward players who are performing exceptionally well on the international circuit with handsome financial gains as the players are making the country proud with their title triumphs," BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta said.

    "Both Saina and Kashyap had won the gold medal in the Syed Modi GP Gold event. Saina has even reached number two ranking in the world.”

    Sushant Singh Rajput turns into Byomkesh Bakshy

    Sushant Singh Rajput is ready to jump into the character of Sherlock Holmes. He would don the role of a detective in his upcoming ‘Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!’ The actor is playing the lead in this thriller that would hit the screens on 3rd April. The film is directed by Dibakar Banerjee and it is a Yash Raj Film production. The filmmakers have released a video showing Sunshant Singh Rajput’s transformation from an ordinary guy to the dynamic detective Byomkesh Bakshy. The video features a song sequence paired with a series of clips from the film.

    What makes YRF’s video utmost interesting is how the filmmakers have shown the concept. It starts with the actor in casual western clothes and looks nowhere close to a detective. The music that begins sets Sushant on his feet with energetic moves. But impressive dance moves is not all that has been shown. The actor’s steps are combined with all the power packed action that he indulges in, as seen in the movie. He gets more into the character of the detective as the song progresses. And slowly, we see the hip hop style Sushant transform into the dhoti clad Bengali detective. By the end of the song, detective Byomkesh Bakshy is all ready for the audience.
    The film has been adapted from ‘Byomkesh Bakshy’ that is a Bengali fiction written by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. The Bengali writer in turn, has been inspired by the famous English fiction ‘Sherlock Holmes’ by Arthur Conan Doyle.

    Another lead role in the film is Swastika Mukherjee, would be seen as a spy and a dancer called Anguri Devi. Her character is based on Mata Hari – the well known Frisian exotic dancer. Anand Tiwari plays Ajit Bandyopadhyay – a close friend of Byomkesh Bakshy.
    It has been reported that Rani Mukherjee is the one that the filmmakers had earlier approached for the female lead. But the actress refused as the female lead was required to do some bold scenes. Yet another prominent personality to be considered was Aamir Khan. He was asked to be a villain, but he too refused as he had ‘Dhoom 3’ in hand where he played a villain. Director Dibakar Banerjee wanted to make the film so that Indian get their own detective. And he has worked hard on this, as Sushant says- “A lot has to be done for the film like the look of the 1940s’ hairstyle,

    Defamation case: Kejriwal appears before court after judge says he has no respect for law

    Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and AAP leader Yogendra Yadav on Tuesday appeared before a Delhi court in connection with a defamation case, after they faced a flak from the judge for not appearing.

    Earlier in the day, Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav were directed by a court here to appear before it later in the day in connection with a criminal defamation complaint, saying there was no ground for exemption from their appearance.

    Metropolitan Magistrate Mayuri Singh took strong view of absence of Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yogendra Yadav, and said they "have no respect for the law".

    The court fixed May 2, for pronouncing order on framing of charges against Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav in the case.

    The case was put up before magistrate Singh as Metropolitan Magistrate Muneesh Garg, before whom the matter was going on, was on leave today.

    During the hearing, the court had said the exemption application displayed no reason for the absence of the accused.

    "There is nothing to reflect why accused (Kejriwal, Sisodia and Yadav) have not appeared. Accused have no respect for law. Considering no one has appeared for accused, I am keeping the matter pending at 2 PM. Call at 2 PM," the magistrate said.
    The court noted that a clerk appeared on behalf of the accused and his advocates and moved the exemption plea.

    The complainant, advocate Surender Kumar Sharma, opposed the plea saying the lawyers are on strike and not the litigants and it would not be in the interest of justice if any adjournment is given in the case as the case had earlier been adjourned three times due to absence of the accused.

    Sharma had alleged that in 2013 he was approached by volunteers of AAP who had asked him to contest the Delhi Assembly elections on a party ticket, saying Kejriwal was pleased with his social services.

    He filled up the application form to contest the polls after being told by Sisodia and Yadav that AAP's Political Affairs Committee of the party had decided to give him the ticket. However, it was later denied to him.

    On October 14, 2013, the complainant claimed, articles in leading newspapers carried "defamatory, unlawful and derogatory words used by the accused persons" which have lowered his reputation in the Bar and the society.

    The summons were issued on the complaint under sections 499, 500 (defamation) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC, with the court saying there was prima facie material to summon the accused.

    28 years after Rajiv Gandhi's near disastrous visit, confident Modi strides into Sri Lanka

    Optics, symbolism and body language are crucially important in diplomacy. If one goes by that, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a powerful statement in Sri Lanka already.

    He came here with folded hands, and then stretched out his arms with an open mind. In bitter contrast, the last time an Indian Prime Minister visited Colombo – Rajiv Gandhi on 30 July, 1987 – he was famously hit by a soldier’s rifle butt when he was inspecting a guard of honour.

    If Rajiv Gandhi had not been alert and ducked, he may have died on the spot. Wijemuni Vijitha Rohana de Silva’s rifle butt hit Rajiv on the shoulder, not on the head where it was meant to land. Wijemuni instantaneously became a popular figure, so much so that after his release from prison he even contested a general election under a ticket for the Sihala Urumaya party in 2000, but lost. Less than two years ago, he admitted in an on-record interview that he intended to kill the Indian premier. Read the full interview here.
    Modi with President Maithripala Sirisena: PTI

    Modi with President Maithripala Sirisena: PTI
    Wijemuni’s action was meant to be an act of revenge against Rajiv Gandhi’s fateful decision of sending the Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka.

    This was the time when India-Sri Lanka relations were at their nadir and anti-India rabid Tamil parties were born and got strengthened in Tamil Nadu and Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the LTTE in Tamil Nadu on 21 May, 1991.

    This contrasting tale of two Indian Prime Ministers in Sri Lanka conveys a lot. To drive the point further home, PM Modi visited the IPKF memorial here and paid homage to IPKF soldiers. This ritual will definitely become a must-do for all future Indian Prime Ministers who visit Sri Lanka.

    The significance of his visit is not lost on Modi himself.

    Sample his words in his media statement after his talks with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena: "I am conscious of the significance of this visit. It is the first standalone bilateral visit to Sri Lanka by an Indian Prime Minister since 1987. Last month, President Sirisena honoured us by making India his first foreign visit as a President. I am glad to be here so soon. This is how it should be between neighbours. We should meet regularly. It helps us understand each other better; find solutions to mutual concerns; and, move our relationship forward. That is what we achieved in my meetings with President Sirisena today."

    Apple’s upcoming Watch will replace your car keys, says CEO Tim Cook

    Apple Watch will replace your car keys and its battery will last the whole day, Apple’s Chief Executive Tim Cook told the Telegraph in an interview. The watch is designed to replace car keys and the clumsy, large fobs that are now used in many vehicles, Cook told the newspaper.

    Its battery will last the whole day, and will not take as long to charge as an iPhone, the report quoted Cook as saying. Apple Watch will also work as a credit card through Apple Pay, Cook told the paper, but did not mention how user verification will work with the watch.

    The rollout of the watch might pose a challenge for Apple’s stores, which may involve “tweaking the experience in the store,” the Telegraph said, citing Cook’s conversation with the staff at Apple’s Covent Garden store in London.

    Last March, Apple unveiled CarPlay, which lets drivers access contacts on their iPhones, make calls or listen to voicemails without taking their hands off the steering wheel. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that the iPhone maker is looking at making a self-driving electric car, and is talking to experts at carmakers and automotive suppliers.
    In the interview, Cook said that the Apple Watch will operate a special rewards system, track the user’s activity and “be correct to 50 milliseconds”.

    Apple was not immediately available for comment.

    The company has scheduled a special event on March 9, where it is expected to showcase Apple Watch, which will be launched in April. While announcing Apple’s record-breaking earnings, CEO Tim Cook had revealed a rough launch date of April 2015 for the device.

    The smartwatch was announced last year in September, but the company didn’t reveal much about its availability, except that it would come in ‘early Spring’. Later, Apple retail chief, Angela Ahrendts,was more specific and revealed the Watch would come only after the Chinese New Year. She had also disclosed how Apple had started planning marketing strategies and all retail employees would be trained to help customers try out the new watch and its features.

    The Apple Watch sports a squarish design instead of a circular one popularised by Motorola’s Moto 360. The Watch is crafted from custom alloys of polished or space black stainless steel (Apple Watch), space gray or silver anodized aluminum (Apple Watch Sport) and 18-karat rose or yellow gold (Apple Watch Edition).

    Egyptian court labels Hamas as terrorist group

    An Egyptian court has reportedly declared Palestinian group Hamas as a terrorist organisation after accusing it of supporting an insurgency in northern Sinai.

    Judge Mohamed el-Sayed said in his verdict that the group was undoubtedly involved in acts of sabotage, assassinations and the killing of innocent civilians and members of the armed forces and police in Egypt, reported the BBC.
    The court ruling will effectively ban Hamas inside Egypt. It comes a month after another court listed the armed wing of Hamas as a terrorist group.

    Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is an offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which was itself designated as a terror outfit in 2013.

    Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi was overthrown by military last year.

    SC reserves judgment on Teesta Setalvad anticipatory bail

    The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved judgement in an anticipatory bail plea for human rights activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband, Javed Anand.

     Setalvad had appealed a Gujarat high court order that denied her anticipatory bail on 12 February. Setalvad and Anand have been accused of embezzling funds collected through donations for the construction of a memorial for the 2002 Gujarat riot victims at Gulbarg Society.

    As a temporary relief, however, the apex court directed that no arrests would be made in relation to the investigation into the alleged embezzlement of funds through Setalvad’s two trusts—the Centre for Peace and Justice and Sabrang Trust.

     A bench of justices Dipak Misra and A.K. Goel heard arguments from the Gujarat government and Setalvad for nearly two hours. Judge Misra questioned the need for custodial interrogation in a case where there were allegations of embezzlement and possible irregularity in the accounts of the trusts.
    Lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, for the Gujarat state, who was also the special public prosecutor before the high court, said that they were asking for custodial interrogation because there had been “rank non-cooperation” and “tampering with witnesses” by Setalvad and Anand. He added that trust money, collected for the beneficiaries, here the riot victims, had been used for personal credit card payments.

    While refraining from making any observations to that extent, the court orally said that while some cases required custodial interrogation, this perhaps was not one of them.

     Lawyer Kapil Sibal, for Setalvad, agreed to furnish documents required by the Gujarat police in furtherance of the investigation. He also said that 11,000 pages of documents had been given to the high court, including cash vouchers.

    Swine flu claims 47 lives in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh

    At least 47 people have died due to swine flu in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh this year, health officials said here Thursday.

    While Punjab has reported 82 confirmed cases and another nearly 100 suspected cases, 120 cases have been reported in Haryana.

    In Punjab 26 people have died in recent days, while in Haryana 18 people have died. Three people have died in Chandigarh due to the H1N1 virus.
    Health officials in both states said that monitoring of people suspected to have symptoms of swine flu was being done and confirmed cases were being treated in isolation wards of hospitals. They said that adequate stocks of medicines were available and people were being made aware about the spread of the disease.

    "While some people are going in for preventive vaccination, a number of people were getting themselves tested for the disease," said Gagan Arora, a general practitioner.

    Vikas, Vishal Yadav get life term in Nitish Katara murder case

    The Delhi High Court on Friday enhanced the life imprisonment terms of Vikas Yadav and Vishal Yadav, convicted of the 2002 murder of Nitish Katara, to 25 years without remission but rejected a plea for them to be given the death sentence.

    A special bench of Justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha gave both men five more years in prison for destroying evidence. It also imposed a penalty of Rs 50 lakh each on Vikas, the son of Uttar Pradesh politician D P Yadav, and his cousin Vishal for the murder.

    The court also increased the jail term of another convict in the case, Sukhdev Pehelwan, to 25 years. The judges said all the men will have to undergo rigorous imprisonment without any remission except for the additional five years.

    The bench turned down a plea by Katara's mother Neelam and Delhi Police seeking the death sentence for the three men.

    Neelam, who was in court when the judges announced their verdict, expressed disappointment at the rejection of her plea for the death penalty but said she was happy with the prison sentences of the trio being enhanced.

    "I will appeal against the order in the Supreme Court," she said. Neelam said she did not require the compensation awarded by the court as she believed no monetary value could be put on the life of her son.

    The judges, in their judgement running to more than 700 pages, said the time spent by Vikas in hospital (from October 10, 2011 to November 4, 2011) should not be counted as part of his prison term.

    They asked the central and Delhi governments to conduct an inquiry into the visits to hospital by Vikas and Vishal after they were sent to jail.
    Vikas, Vishal and Pehelwan are serving life terms for abducting and killing Katara, a business executive and son of a railway officer, in February 2002. They killed him as Vikas was opposed to Katara's relationship with his sister Bharti because they belonged to different castes.

    Katara had fallen in love with Bharti while they were both studying at the Institute of Management Technology in Ghaziabad.

    The High Court had been hearing arguments on the punishment given to the three men since April last year. The convicts had sought leniency and exemption from the death sentence on the grounds that they could reform. They had also claimed their actions were not so brutal or gruesome that they deserved capital punishment.

    Neelam Katara and Delhi Police had demanded death for the trio, saying their offence was "the rarest of the rare".

    The High Court had in April 2014 upheld sentences awarded to the three men by a lower court and described Katara's murder as an "honour killing" stemming from a "deeply-entrenched belief" in the caste system.

    Rahul Gandhi: Modi put Jayanthi Natarajan against me

    Breaking his silence, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said his former party colleague Jayanthi Natarajan had been pitted against him by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he had been fighting for the poor and other weaker sections of the society.

    "Ek din maine Modiji ke baare mein kuch kaha, agle din unhone Natrajan ko khada kiya (One day, I said something about Modi, the very next day, he put up Natarajan)," the Congress Vice President said at a rally here. This was his first reaction to Natarajan's allegation that he used to interfere in grant of green nods when she was Environment Minister before being forced out in December 2013. She resigned from the party on Saturday last, reported PTI.
    "I want to tell you that I have fought for the poor and the adivasis and I had told Jayanthi Natarajan that we should look into the welfare of the environment, poor and the adivasis. I will continue to fight for the poor, the hutsmen and the weaker sections," the Congress vice-president said at an election rally here. Alleging that the Prime Minister is working only to benefit his "industrial friends", he said he had joined politics to ensure welfare for the poor and the weaker sections of the society and not to benefit some businessmen.
     
    Natarajan had last Saturday resigned from the primary membership of Congress alleging that she was "vilified" for rejecting green nod to industrial projects during her tenure as Environment Minister, which she said she had done following communications by the Congress vice-president. She had also written a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi a few months back alleging that she had received specific requests from Rahul on environmental clearances and consequently rejected big ticket projects, a contention she reaffirmed at the time of announcing her resignation.

    Shooting 'Jazbaa' with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is fab: Sanjay Gupta

    Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has started shooting her comeback film 'Jazbaa', an action-thriller directed by Sanjay Gupta.

    The 'Guzaarish' star, who is returning to the silver screen after a gap of five years, will share the screen space with Irrfan, Shabana Azmi and Anupam Kher.
    Gupta took to Twitter to share the picture of the 41-year-old actress from the sets and said shooting with the former Miss World is fabulous.

    Aishwaryashootsforjazbaa. She is back," he captioned the picture, adding, "I'm sure some of you wanna know what it was like to shoot with ARB (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). Putting it mildly, it was FAB. We're on a roll & it's a good one."

    Arvind Kejriwal correctly enrolled in voters' list: Election Commission

    AAP chief Arvind Kerjiwal is correctly enrolled in the voters' list for the upcoming Assembly polls in the national capital, the Election Commission told the Delhi High Court.

    The poll body made the submission before the bench of Justice Vibhu Bakhru, which had on Monday sought its response on Congress leader Kiran Walia's plea seeking removal of Kerjiwal's name from the Delhi electoral rolls on the ground that he has illegally declared himself to be a resident of the national capital.

    "Arvind Kejriwal's name was correctly enrolled in the electoral rolls of Delhi. He is registered as a voter in New Delhi constituency from the address 87, Block K, BK Dutt Colony (Jor Bagh)," ECI told the bench.
    Arvind Kejriwal correctly enrolled in voters' list: Election Commission
    The poll panel also told the court that it has checked the latest electoral roll for Delhi and found Kejriwal's name in the voters' list from B K Dutt Colony.
    The court, however, asked the poll panel to produce the documents related to the decision taken by it while rejecting the representation made by Walia to delete entry of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader's name from the electoral roll.

    The poll panel also told the court that it has checked the latest electoral roll for Delhi and found Kejriwal's name in the voters' list from B K Dutt Colony.

    "Though he had briefly lived at Tilak Marg after taking over the post of Chief Minister last year, he had applied for a change of address just ahead of the polls, first to V P House on Rafi Marg and then to B K Dutt Colony," the panel said, adding that "now they cannot make changes as it was to be done only before filing of the nomination".

    The court, earlier, had issued notice to EC on Walia's plea, who is contesting the assembly election scheduled for February 7 from the New Delhi constituency, alleging that Kejriwal is not a resident of Delhi and had got his name entered in the electoral rolls by "manipulation, cheating and fraud".

    Xiaomi Mi 3 to Go on Sale Again on Republic Day

    Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi announced on Saturday that its popular Mi 3 flagship will go on sale in India on on Monday, or Republic Day. The company notes that limited units are available, on a first-come-first-serve basis.

    Part of the firm's Republic Day offers (which includes the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G being made available without registration this long holiday weekend - from January 24 to January 26), the Xiaomi Mi 3 will be available to customers who register their interest before 2pm IST on Monday.

    To purchase the Mi 3, customers are asked to like the Mi India Facebook announcement post and share it with at least 3 friends, and then visit the dedicated promotion page on the company's India site at 12pm IST on Monday, and then enter the email address associated with their Flipkart account to register.

    Users will have until 2pm IST on Monday to register with their Flipkart account's email address, and if they were fast enough (with only a limited number of Mi 3 smartphone units available), they will find the Mi 3 smartphone in their Flipkart cart at 5pm IST. Users can then proceed to check out the smartphone to complete the purchase.
    The company is calling the sale the last chance customers will have to purchase the Mi 3 in India. The last time Xiaomi made the Mi 3 available for purchase in India was back in October, with 25,000 units made available to those users who had registered for at least five of the six Mi 3 flash sales held by the firm in India, but were unable to purchase the handset.

    To be noted is that Xiaomi's 2014 flagship smartphone, the Mi 4, is scheduled to finally launch in India on Wednesday. For now, pricing and availability details of the Xiaomi Mi 4 smartphone in India are not known, however, following previous launches by the company, it is expected to be made available the following week on Tuesday - or February 3.

    To refresh your memory, the Xiaomi Mi 3 is priced at Rs. 13,999 and runs a highly tweaked version of Android 4.4 KitKat, with the company's MIUI 5 skin on top. It features a 5-inch full-HD LCD display (1080x1920 pixels) offering a pixel density of 441ppi; a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8274AB) processor; 2GB of RAM; Adreno 330 GPU; 16GB of inbuilt storage; a 13-megapixel rear camera; a 2-megapixel camera, and a 3050mAh battery.

    Eugenie Bouchard looking to finally get one up on childhood idol Maria Sharapova at Australian Open

    She was Eugenie Bouchard's childhood hero, but the Canadian will be out to ensure Maria Sharapova doesn't become her grand slam villain when the pair meet in the Australian Open quarter-finals.

    Bouchard, who progressed with a three-set victory over Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu on Sunday afternoon, has never beaten Sharapova. In what is being dubbed the battle of the glamour girls of women's tennis, Bouchard will have to overcome a 0-3 record against the Russian, which includes the semi-final heartache at last year's French Open.

    "I kind of just remember a grind," Bouchard said of the 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 loss to Sharapova at Roland Garros in 2014. "I didn't feel like I was playing great tennis the whole time. Sometimes here and there. But that's what it's about: trying to win and trying to always play better, get through it, even if you're not playing your best. I felt like I was close with her. She probably wasn't - we were both maybe a bit off. You're never really playing amazing. Maybe 10 per cent of the year. So I remember that, and I remember I had chances and stuff. I just remember a tough match. I was pretty disappointed after, so that's motivating."
    Bouchard has often been compared to Sharapova since her breakout performance at last year's Australian Open. Sharapova is one of the most marketable sportswomen in the world, and while Bouchard still has a long way to go before reaching such heights, it's believed she is on a similar path.

    However Sharapova, who was often compared to Anna Kournikova at the start of her career, said it was important to create your own identity. "I think we all want to go through our own paths ... when I was coming up, I was compared to Kournikova for many years in my career and still occasionally name always comes up in interviews and articles," Sharapova said. "That's just part of it, part of the game, part of the business. It's understandable. It is what it is. As I have said, I believe I was still a teenager, I don't want to be the next anyone. I want to be the first Maria Sharapova. And that's how I've been throughout my whole career. And we all want to create our own path and go through our own career. And we're all destined for some sort of thing. We work extremely hard at a sport, and that's what we want to be known for."

    In three meetings, Bouchard has only managed to take one set off Sharapova. The 20-year-old won just two games in their first encounter in Miami in 2013, and failed to take a set at the French Open later that year. She did manage to win the first set in the semi-final at Roland Garros last year, but the experienced Sharapova finished strong to topple Bouchard, going on to win the tournament with a victory over Simona Halep in the final. But Bouchard has welcomed the clash with the world No.2, admitting she was going to be aggressive in her approach to the quarter-final.

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